Confetti Patent Changes Competitive Landscape

Confetti Patent Changes Competitive Landscape

If you are marketing and producing multi-species liners, make sure you have permission. Dömmen USA just received word it will soon be granted a utility patent on its Red Fox Confetti Garden multi-species cutting liners by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).

A utility patent protects new inventions, permitting the patent owner to exclude others from making, selling or using the invention for up to 20 years from the date of application without expressed consent. The 20-year term of the patent will run from Dömmen’s utility patent application filing date of November 6, 2008.

This applies to multi-cutting liners with mixed species. An example would be a liner with verbena, petunia and calibrachoa cuttings rooted into a single growth cell. Same-species liners, like three different petunia cuttings rooted together, are not impacted. Rooted cuttings planted together would not be affected either.

What this means for growers and the livegoods supply chain is the multi-species liners must either be Dömmen USA product or licensed by Dömmen USA for use by other companies. Managing Director Perry Wismans is opening negotations with other suppliers of multi-species cutting liners to authorize any of their products covered by the utility patent. One goal in these negotiations is to not disrupt confirmed orders for spring 2011 or create extra costs for growers. Wismans can be reached at [email protected].

“My goal is for nothing to change for the growers,” Wismans says. “We will charge a small licensing fee from breeder-producers out of the price confirmed so growers don’t hurt. In 2011, it’s important to me growers get what they ordered. We want to protect the legal status of product on the bench. After May has ended, we will negotiate licensing agreements. It’s not a decision we’ll be making in the upcoming weeks.”

The two competing programs that will be the most affected are Selecta’s Trixi Liners and Syngenta’s Kwik Kombos. We contacted representatives of both organizations. While Syngenta is reviewing the public records surrounding the patent application and evaluating its position, Selecta declined to comment at this time. Some liner growers also have multi-cutting programs, including Four Star Greenhouse’s Streamliners and Mast Young Plants’ Designer Liners. Through licensing agreements, Dömmen could receive royalties or fees for other product lines.

In the past, we’ve seen breeders pursue utility patents for unique varieties and breeding processes. Examples include Selecta’s MiniFamous Double calibrachoas and Oglevee’s Double Gem double New Guinea impatiens. Dömmen’s patent is for a process, a “method of producing a horticultural display,” according to USPTO documents. Many in the industry questioned if this process, rooting cuttings from different species into a single growth cell, could be patented. Articles published in Greenhouse Grower and other greenhouse floriculture industry trade publications were cited as proof of concept and significance in Dömmen’s USPTO application.

Leave a Reply

52 comments on “Confetti Patent Changes Competitive Landscape

  1. Ridiculous Bill Gates type move. Conquer the plant world and then give your fortune to charity so people hate you less. Egomaniacs! Glad there are plenty more excellent alternative geraniums, poinsettias etc etc than we had with MS Office.

  2. I am not aware of all the requirements for recieving a utility patent, especially time lines of application or first sale date, BUT I do know other producers were selling plants using this same idea BEFORE their 11/6/08 filing date.

  3. What a crock – this reeks of corruption or stupidity on the part of the Patent Office – and nefarious blatant greed on the part of applying for a patent on “multi-breed liners” which have been in production since the Middle Ages!

    I think I’ll apply for a patent for a horizontal variable thickness manual bread slicer. Yup, I’ll call it a BREAD KNIFE !

    It’s compost such as this that obviates the value of the Patent Office.

    Let’s track down the step-by-step process for this bastardization of integrity and honor and hold those responsible accountable!

  4. Here’s a fast solution: stop buying Dummen produced liners. Since they are chasing dollars, hit the with the thing most important to them.

  5. This introduces a whole new level of greed with virtually no input of time or finances. Perhaps Dummen should be boycotted by growers

  6. The patent should have been applied for at inception if they actually started the idea-not after the idea caught on and it became popular. Imagine patenting the idea of square pots now.

  7. I just received a utility patent on producing horticultural products in a climate controlled environment.
    Everyone with a greenhouse — send me $5 NOW!

  8. Oh, oh Dummen. That´s too much.

    First kick Syngenta and Ball in the a** and then begging them to sell your products. Crazy!

  9. Dummen is on a slippery slope here. For growers who serve the mass markets, this is the last thing we need. I think Dummen has forgotten that we as growers have choices. It is a dangerous move on their part.

  10. I doubt Dummen was the first to do this if they have proof show it. Our industry was built on trust and honesty. My advice. Dummen apoligize and retract this corrupt move. Maybe you can repair some of the damage. I dont grow alot of dummen plants but now will do less, probably non. My guess is that many growers will hold them accountable with there purchasing decisions.

  11. Since Dummen seems to have the corner on mixed unrooted cuttings in a single cell, I think I will patent the process of the placement of 3 mixed species rooted cuttings in a basket. Why go after just the big producers? I can collect fees and require licensing from every single greenhouse in the US that produces combo baskets. It’s the American way. Oh, that’s right, Dummen is a German company. Maybe I’ll just get a German utility patent on it, and leave the Americans alone.

  12. Not sure why everyone posting here is so upset about Dummen recieving the patent license. Sounds like alot of jealous people out there in this industry. I must say that this was an unbelievable move by Dummen and I congratulate them!!!

  13. Absolutely obsurd! We have been producing multi-species combos for the last 10 years! Where do they get off thinking they can do that? If it were a unique technical process, it might be different. It would be like trying to patent growing seeds in plugs rather than sowing directly into the pot.

  14. I do not agree with Dummen enforcing this utility patent this season. Product is already in production, orders booked and confirmed. I do think Dummen was smart in getting this utility patent for future seasons.

    I am shocked by the number of industry member comments refering to greed. Since when is making good profits, running a good business, and continually trying to improve your profits a negative!

  15. Jealousy is not a factor here. Despite whether or not customers will see a change in the cost of mixed species liners in 2011, we all know that this fee will eventually be passed along to the end growers in the future. Do you think Ball, Syngenta, and others, are going to absorb this cost themselves out of goodwill towards their customers? There is no way to prevent end growers from having to pay this extra licensing fee on top of the tag, royalties, and marketing fees in the future. This additional cost to multiple cutting liners will be for the futile purpose of filling Dummen’s fat pockets with money that will in no way add value or service to the growers in exchange. If anyone can explain the benefits that the growers will receive, or how this licensing fee will enhance the horticulture industry, I am sure all growers would like to know. At least there are known benefits to paying royalties and marketing fees, even though no one likes to pay them. Our industry is facing a crisis right now. Many little guys and mid-sized growers are being forced out of business. We need to help growers be more profitable, not take money out of their pockets for which they get nothing in return.

  16. I would like to Congratulate Dummen on this Patent.
    It shows a lot of integrity and hard work. This patent is well deserved. Way to go!

  17. Come on! Integegrity’s got nothing to do with it. It’s not a patentable idea. We were planting an assortment of different species in a jumbo pack years ago. It’s simply a differnt way of doing things.

  18. An interesting debate. The reality is that whether or not it’s a “patentable idea” falls directly under the perview of the US Patent Office. One of the great truths in business is that people usually want to sell based on Value, but buy based on Cost. Another truth is that the market has a way of sorting these things out.

  19. It is too easy to comment with such gusto anonymously, isn’t it?

    A little irony here, as I, too, am posting under a nom de plume, Anonymous.

  20. I would like to congradulate Dummen on receiving a patent for the Confetti multi-species liner. I know they put a tremendous amount of research into the development of the product. And for that they should be rewarded. The way I understand it, patents encourage innovation and our industry as well as any other industry should welcome innovation.From someone with experience growing the Confettis, we understand and appreciate the uniqueness and difficulty in producing this type of liner.

  21. Response to Mr. Barnitz: What research? This is the same trial and error process we as growers go through every day and we don’t apply for a patent. A new series, certainly! We have several combos that have taken several seasons to perfect,but we did not invent anything! This is marketing, not invention.

  22. How can a patent examiner approve this process when it has been going on for a while previously? I can’t believe this utility patent was granted! If it were a new concept, it makes sense, but it’s not a new concept.

  23. Dummen does not know it yet, but they have one heck of a problem coming up. They stole this idea from another grower who happens to have a patent on this techinque that is dated a year earlier, but has not been in pending status at the patent office. They can just forward the checks to this grower. Dummen can stop counting their royalty checks and get in touch with their lawyers quickly!

  24. Ridiculous Bill Gates type move. Conquer the plant world and then give your fortune to charity so people hate you less. Egomaniacs! Glad there are plenty more excellent alternative geraniums, poinsettias etc etc than we had with MS Office.

  25. I am not aware of all the requirements for recieving a utility patent, especially time lines of application or first sale date, BUT I do know other producers were selling plants using this same idea BEFORE their 11/6/08 filing date.

  26. What a crock – this reeks of corruption or stupidity on the part of the Patent Office – and nefarious blatant greed on the part of applying for a patent on “multi-breed liners” which have been in production since the Middle Ages!

    I think I’ll apply for a patent for a horizontal variable thickness manual bread slicer. Yup, I’ll call it a BREAD KNIFE !

    It’s compost such as this that obviates the value of the Patent Office.

    Let’s track down the step-by-step process for this bastardization of integrity and honor and hold those responsible accountable!

  27. Here’s a fast solution: stop buying Dummen produced liners. Since they are chasing dollars, hit the with the thing most important to them.

  28. This introduces a whole new level of greed with virtually no input of time or finances. Perhaps Dummen should be boycotted by growers

  29. The patent should have been applied for at inception if they actually started the idea-not after the idea caught on and it became popular. Imagine patenting the idea of square pots now.

  30. I just received a utility patent on producing horticultural products in a climate controlled environment.
    Everyone with a greenhouse — send me $5 NOW!

  31. Oh, oh Dummen. That´s too much.

    First kick Syngenta and Ball in the a** and then begging them to sell your products. Crazy!

  32. Dummen is on a slippery slope here. For growers who serve the mass markets, this is the last thing we need. I think Dummen has forgotten that we as growers have choices. It is a dangerous move on their part.

  33. I doubt Dummen was the first to do this if they have proof show it. Our industry was built on trust and honesty. My advice. Dummen apoligize and retract this corrupt move. Maybe you can repair some of the damage. I dont grow alot of dummen plants but now will do less, probably non. My guess is that many growers will hold them accountable with there purchasing decisions.

  34. Since Dummen seems to have the corner on mixed unrooted cuttings in a single cell, I think I will patent the process of the placement of 3 mixed species rooted cuttings in a basket. Why go after just the big producers? I can collect fees and require licensing from every single greenhouse in the US that produces combo baskets. It’s the American way. Oh, that’s right, Dummen is a German company. Maybe I’ll just get a German utility patent on it, and leave the Americans alone.

  35. Not sure why everyone posting here is so upset about Dummen recieving the patent license. Sounds like alot of jealous people out there in this industry. I must say that this was an unbelievable move by Dummen and I congratulate them!!!

  36. Absolutely obsurd! We have been producing multi-species combos for the last 10 years! Where do they get off thinking they can do that? If it were a unique technical process, it might be different. It would be like trying to patent growing seeds in plugs rather than sowing directly into the pot.

  37. I do not agree with Dummen enforcing this utility patent this season. Product is already in production, orders booked and confirmed. I do think Dummen was smart in getting this utility patent for future seasons.

    I am shocked by the number of industry member comments refering to greed. Since when is making good profits, running a good business, and continually trying to improve your profits a negative!

  38. Jealousy is not a factor here. Despite whether or not customers will see a change in the cost of mixed species liners in 2011, we all know that this fee will eventually be passed along to the end growers in the future. Do you think Ball, Syngenta, and others, are going to absorb this cost themselves out of goodwill towards their customers? There is no way to prevent end growers from having to pay this extra licensing fee on top of the tag, royalties, and marketing fees in the future. This additional cost to multiple cutting liners will be for the futile purpose of filling Dummen’s fat pockets with money that will in no way add value or service to the growers in exchange. If anyone can explain the benefits that the growers will receive, or how this licensing fee will enhance the horticulture industry, I am sure all growers would like to know. At least there are known benefits to paying royalties and marketing fees, even though no one likes to pay them. Our industry is facing a crisis right now. Many little guys and mid-sized growers are being forced out of business. We need to help growers be more profitable, not take money out of their pockets for which they get nothing in return.

  39. I would like to Congratulate Dummen on this Patent.
    It shows a lot of integrity and hard work. This patent is well deserved. Way to go!

  40. Come on! Integegrity’s got nothing to do with it. It’s not a patentable idea. We were planting an assortment of different species in a jumbo pack years ago. It’s simply a differnt way of doing things.

  41. An interesting debate. The reality is that whether or not it’s a “patentable idea” falls directly under the perview of the US Patent Office. One of the great truths in business is that people usually want to sell based on Value, but buy based on Cost. Another truth is that the market has a way of sorting these things out.

  42. It is too easy to comment with such gusto anonymously, isn’t it?

    A little irony here, as I, too, am posting under a nom de plume, Anonymous.

  43. I would like to congradulate Dummen on receiving a patent for the Confetti multi-species liner. I know they put a tremendous amount of research into the development of the product. And for that they should be rewarded. The way I understand it, patents encourage innovation and our industry as well as any other industry should welcome innovation.From someone with experience growing the Confettis, we understand and appreciate the uniqueness and difficulty in producing this type of liner.

  44. Response to Mr. Barnitz: What research? This is the same trial and error process we as growers go through every day and we don’t apply for a patent. A new series, certainly! We have several combos that have taken several seasons to perfect,but we did not invent anything! This is marketing, not invention.

  45. How can a patent examiner approve this process when it has been going on for a while previously? I can’t believe this utility patent was granted! If it were a new concept, it makes sense, but it’s not a new concept.

  46. Dummen does not know it yet, but they have one heck of a problem coming up. They stole this idea from another grower who happens to have a patent on this techinque that is dated a year earlier, but has not been in pending status at the patent office. They can just forward the checks to this grower. Dummen can stop counting their royalty checks and get in touch with their lawyers quickly!

More From Varieties...
finneran bee on snakeroot

September 28, 2016

Which Annuals And Perennials Are Good For Pollinators?

If you are a grower looking for information on producing plants that are safe for pollinators, or which plant types can be marketed as good food sources for bees, the new publication “Protecting and Enhancing Pollinators in Urban Landscapes” provides a good resource.

Read More
phlox-fashionably-early-flamingo-walters-gardens

September 27, 2016

Walters Gardens Partnering With Darwin Colombia On Unrooted Cuttings

Beginning in spring 2017, Darwin Colombia will offer unrooted cuttings of more than 40 varieties of Walters Gardens’ new genetics, including many popular genera such as Agastache, Monarda, Nepeta, and Phlox.

Read More
Streptocarpus Ladyslippers Grape Ice (Green Fuse Botanicals)

September 27, 2016

9 New Blooming Potted Plants To Jazz Up The Home And Garden

Blooming potted plants are the ideal gift for anyone, from a homesick college student to a spouse in need of some cheering up. Check out nine these new introductions hitting the retail market in 2017.

Read More
Latest Stories
finneran bee on snakeroot

September 28, 2016

Which Annuals And Perennials Are Good For Pollinators?

If you are a grower looking for information on producing plants that are safe for pollinators, or which plant types can be marketed as good food sources for bees, the new publication “Protecting and Enhancing Pollinators in Urban Landscapes” provides a good resource.

Read More
phlox-fashionably-early-flamingo-walters-gardens

September 27, 2016

Walters Gardens Partnering With Darwin Colombia On Unro…

Beginning in spring 2017, Darwin Colombia will offer unrooted cuttings of more than 40 varieties of Walters Gardens’ new genetics, including many popular genera such as Agastache, Monarda, Nepeta, and Phlox.

Read More
Streptocarpus Ladyslippers Grape Ice (Green Fuse Botanicals)

September 27, 2016

9 New Blooming Potted Plants To Jazz Up The Home And Ga…

Blooming potted plants are the ideal gift for anyone, from a homesick college student to a spouse in need of some cheering up. Check out nine these new introductions hitting the retail market in 2017.

Read More
clematis-taiga-feature

September 24, 2016

Plantarium 2016 Honors Winning Novelty Varieties

Novelties at Plantarium 2016 were judged by an expert committee from the Royal Boskoop Horticultural Society.

Read More
mukgenia-nova-flame-terra-nova-nurseries-feature

September 23, 2016

Growers Offer Advice On How To Grow Mukgenia ‘Nova Flam…

‘Nova Flame’ is best brought in as a summer or fall crop and bulked over the winter.

Read More
deutzia-yuki-snowflake

September 22, 2016

Allan Armitage Suggests Plants That “Even My Neig…

When the urge to garden strikes, every homeowner needs a few plants like these for their yard.

Read More
Phlox 'Pink Profusion' (Green Leaf Plants)

September 13, 2016

Aris Horticulture Names Blair Hoey As Managing Director…

Hoey brings more than 20 years of greenhouse production and management experience to Green Leaf Plants, a young plant supplier of perennials serving the U.S. and Canadian markets.

Read More
hibiscus-hollywood-hot-shot

September 12, 2016

New Variety Award Winners Announced At Farwest 2016

A panel of industry experts, as well as show attendees, selected a thornless blackberry and a hydrangea for the top honors.

Read More

September 7, 2016

Check Out The Best Annuals For Attracting Bees And Butt…

Public interest in protecting bees and other pollinators has initiated a new market for flowers that are good food plants for pollinators. Here's a list of annuals Michigan State University Extension recommends that are attractive to bees and other pollinators.

Read More

September 6, 2016

10 Colorful Spring Plants For Sales In 2017

Trends with plants come and go, but color always sells. These spring crops for 2017 offer color choices ranging from bold and vibrant hues to understated, softer tones, and they’re versatile enough to be used in baskets, containers, beds, and borders.

Read More

September 5, 2016

7 New Shrubs And Foliage Plants For Spring Interest

Perennials and annuals aren’t the only plants that supply spring color to the garden. Shrubs and foliage plants also add color and interest and are a great way to round out your spring product mix.

Read More
Janikia Eckert

September 4, 2016

All-America Selections Presents Achievement Awards At I…

Jim Nau of Ball Horticultural received the AAS Medallion of Honor, while Janika Eckert of Johnny’s Selected Seeds took home the Breeders Cup.

Read More
Phlox 'Pink Profusion' (Green Leaf Plants)

August 30, 2016

14 Cool Season Plants To Kick Off The Spring Season

These new cultivar introductions for 2016 are spring bloomers that can take the cold for early-season sales.

Read More
Penn State University Trial Day

August 26, 2016

How Greenhouse Growers Can Broaden Their Horizons

Allan Armitage says you can learn new ideas to help your business when you get out to visit plant trials and other growers.

Read More

August 23, 2016

Kick Spring Sales Up A Notch With 20 New Plant Introduc…

It’s time to look forward to the spring season and what plants will get your business off to the right start. These 18 new cultivars have all the traits of good breeding — uniform habits, bold colors, showy blooms, good vigor, and excellent branching.

Read More

August 23, 2016

Gardens Alive! Parent Company Buys Zelenka Farms

  Zelenka Farms, which has been in Chapter 11 bankruptcy, says LM Farms, which owns Gardens Alive!, has purchased the company and all of its assets. BFN Operations LLC and its affiliated entities, d/b/a Zelenka Farms, operated one of the largest wholesale nurseries in the U.S. Its products include shrubs, trees, perennials, roses, and groundcovers. The owners of Gardens Alive! have successfully purchased several other companies from bankruptcy and are experienced nursery managers. Niles Kinerk, Chairman of LM Farms, stated that “the opportunity to purchase Zelenka Farms assets and to continue the turnaround that is well underway is exactly the kind of opportunity that we look for. We understand the efforts of the management team led by Eric Ek and others have been successful, and we will support the management team in the coming months and years.” Zelenka Farms operates its six facilities across the key growing regions in the […]

Read More
Coreopsis-UpTickCream-19793-DarwinPerennials

August 20, 2016

Growing Tips On Coreopsis UpTick Series From John Wilso…

Editor’s Note: In this new feature, the Greenhouse Grower varieties team will choose one noteworthy variety each month we think is worth bringing to your attention. Then we’ll share growers’ and breeders’ perspectives on the best ways to produce it successfully at your operation. This month we focus on the hardy Coreopsis UpTick series, winner of Greenhouse Grower’s 2016 Industry’s Choice Medal of Excellence for Breeding. Growing Tips From John Wilson, Seville Farms When asked about producing Coreopsis UpTick, John Wilson says he doesn’t have much to say because it was so easy to grow. Wilson, a Corporate Grower for Seville Farms, says based on the new series’ strong performance during the trialing he has done so far, the nursery ordered a large quantity of the plants for future growing. “If breeders were looking to come up with something that says ‘wow,’ they have done it with the UpTick Series,” […]

Read More
Eucomis arrangement from Golden State Bulb

August 19, 2016

What’s New With Blooming Potted Plants

From exotic orchids and lilies to flashy red cyclamen and jaunty gerberas, new blooming potted plants come in every shape, size, and color.

Read More
[gravityform id="35" title="false" description="false"]